Senator Charles Kenzie Steele Jr was born august 3, 1946. Mr. Steele was the first African American elected to the city council of Tuscaloosa in 1994. Charles Steele Jr. was one of the first African Americans elected to the Alabama State Senate.

While serving on the City Council, he organized the Unity Day Scholarship Fund, the Tuscaloosa Athletic Police League and secured the funds for Palmore Park and Charles Steele Estates [the first home ownership program in West Alabama].

In 2004, he became the National President and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. On April 20, 2006 he was inducted into the Tuscaloosa Civic Hall Of Fame.

August 28, 2013 Charles Steele, president emeritus and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Council spoke at the Lincoln Memorial for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.